quick, easy and delicious Korean stir fried squid – ojingo bokkeum 오징어 볶음

This Korean style stir-fried squid is quick, easy and delicious and yet it will have your family and friends completely wowed by just how great your cooking skills are.

I was asked to write an article for a membership-based publication in Beverly Hills and they wanted a delicious recipe that might be something that is a little different in flavour and ingredients but is also quick and easy to make successfully.

Having lived and worked in South Korea before and being obsessed with their use of spice and healthy ingredients, I decided to make a quick and easy Korean dish. For the something different, I used squid instead of meat as I know very few people in the UK that cook squid on a regular basis.

This recipe is something that people may initially think that they won’t be able to recreate but trust me, once you try making it once, you will be hooked and this will become a regular mid-week go-to dish that you will crave and make often.

Korean stir fried squid - ojingobokkeum - 오징어볶음
Korean stir fried squid – ojingobokkeum – 오징어볶음

Korean food uses a lot of red chili paste and red chili flakes but don’t let this put you off as the flavours are quite mild and there is also a sweetness to the flavours. Most Asian supermarkets should stock some kind of Korean products but otherwise, check out online sources and have the ingredients delivered straight to your door.

you can buy squid from most larger supermarkets either fresh or frozen. I like to buy the frozen full squid tubes as it means I mostly have them to hand and can throw this dish together in minutes. my local supermarket sells bags of frozen squid for £5 for about ten squid, but if you don’t fancy squid then it can be swapped for chicken, pork, tofu, mixed vegetables, other seafood or beef. But you should give the squid a try at least once.

The recipe below should feed 3 or 4 with rice as an accompaniment.


500g squid, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp groundnut oil (or any other oil of your choice)

1tbsp cornstarch

to make the chili paste:

6 garlic cloves finely chopped

1tsp ginger finely chopped

3tbsp soy sauce

3tbsp red pepper flakes (gochugaru)

2 tsp sugar

2 leeks chopped into rings

1 green jalapeno chopped

1 white onion roughly chopped

2 carrots roughly chopped


to make the chili paste combine the garlic, ginger, soy, red pepper flakes and sugar. stir to make sure that all of the ingredients combine well.

heat up a pan or a wok and add the oil.

once small bubbles start to appear on the surface of the oil add the carrots, onions, leeks, and jalapeno and stirfry for about five minutes.  The vegetables will start to soften slightly.

add the chili paste and continue to stir the vegetables in the wok to make sure that the chili paste coats all of the vegetables.

Add some water to a small bowl and add the cornflour. mix together and you will have a white paste that may feel a little tough to stir.

pour this into the wok and it will help to thicken the sauce.

add the squid to the wok and stirfry making sure to keep the squid moving around the pan. the squid will cook in two or three minutes so keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to turn rubbery and tough.

you will notice the squid firm up and the colour of the flesh turn from translucent to more opaque and that’s when you know that the squid is ready.

remove the food from the wok onto a serving plate and serve with white rice.

Give this a try and let me know how you get on and I really do hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.









baked camembert – delicious, indulgent and super easy

this is my go-to recipe when I fancy something delicious, indulgent and super easy. Baked camembert to me is a cheap and easy way to spoil myself and make myself feel good and I have to say, there is nothing nicer than a large glass of wine to go with this simple dish.

baked camembert
baked camembert

this isn’t a dish to eat if you are counting calories, watching your weight or trying to be good. Its calorific and the addition of bread for dunking is also a necessity but not kind to the scales. its an all-or-nothing kind of treat.

there are many different recipes out there and a variety of ways to add flavour to baed camembert but my go-to is simply garlic, rosemary and olive oil.

some people add honey, cranberry jam or caramelised red onions and others add lots of garlic, white wine, and even liqueur.


one camembert cheese

one or two cloves of garlic (depending on your taste)

1tbsp olive oil

1 sprig of rosemary

ground black pepper.

bread, crackers, oatcakes for dunking

selection of olives, cornichons, sliced vegetables such as carrot and cucumber.


preheat the oven to its maximum temperature so that it’s piping hot when you finally put the camembert in.

finely slice the garlic clove(s) and wash the rosemary sprig, removing the leaves from the stalk.

unwrap the camembert and slice the top off of the circular cheese, almost like a lid.

place the cheese inside an ovenproof dish and use a knife to pierce some slots in the cheese so that you can push the garlic slices inside.

sprinkle the rosemary leaves on top of the cheese, pour over the olive oil and season with sea salt and black pepper.

place the lid of the cheese (that you sliced off) on top of the cheese and you are ready to put the cheese in the oven.

Reduce the oven temperature to 200oC and place the cheese in its ovenproof dish into the oven. Set a timer for 15 minutes but do keep an eye on the cheese as it cooks.

whilst the cheese is baking prepare a number of dunkable snacks that can be eaten with the cheese. Crusty bread, oatcakes, crackers all dunk well. to balance out the richness of the cheese I always try and have some vegetables such as cucumber and carrot and I do like a few olives to go with the cheese.

if you love cheese as much as I do then this is a great snack to master and enjoy, but it may require extra hard work at the gym to work off the guilt.

give this a go.



김치찌개 – spicy, fermented, warming, hot, delicious korean stew

well as all my posts have been bitching and moaning in the same way about the cold and the winter in beijing so i thought why not keep it going? beijing is cold, icy, windy and unfriendly at this time of year. people push shove, hurry and focus on their own journey when its this cold and wintery and there is nothing nicer than going home to eat something spicy and warming to make you feel happy again.

in this weather i love being at home in my pajamas and slippers and simply eating food that just makes everything feel cosy. when i lived in korea i got hooked on korean stew 김치찌개 but more commonly the tuna fish version. this soup to me is perfect for – warming me in the cold, chasing away a cold or flu, fighting off a fever, curing a hangover, curing homesickness, healing a broken heart, and more randomly – making my hair and nails grow like wildfire. when i make a huge pot of this kimchi stew and eat it night after night, i notice that my hair and nails seem stronger, shinier and just different and i have convinced myself that its from the nutrients in the kimchi.

so why not take the time to buy some korean ingredients and get making some stews to keep you warm and healthy.
this stew gets better as the days it sits in the fridge goes on as the flavours all join together and the tastes fuze together. its perfect if you have a busy week coming up and you want to make something quite healthy that will help you get through the tough week ahead.

measurements for the soup change from region to region in korea but also change with peoples tastes, seasons and availability of ingredients and also with people like me who want to experiment and add to this soup..

traditionally this soup is made from sliced kimchi, beef, pork or seafood, tofu, sliced spring onions and garlic, all put in a stone pot and boiled with water or myeolchi(멸치) stock. The stew is seasoned with either doenjang(된장) (soy bean paste) or gochujang (고추장)(red pepper paste) until the meat is cooked and the ingredients are cooked and ready to be eaten with plain rice as a staple and a selection of side dishes.

to this simple and traditional recipe for kimchi stew i really enjoy adding cubed potatoes and carrots making the entire dish an even heartier and filling stew.

stupidly easy and fabulously tasty sorbet

i regularly tune in to www.blog.fatfreevegan.com and although i am a meat eater and use fat in my cooking more often than i should, susan’s recipes are delicious and the blog is beautifully created.

A while back when i moved into my current apartment with its dedicated dining room i started cooking full-on dinners and having friends round. I wanted these to be proper grown-up dinners with nice plates, proper glasses for proper booze and delicious grown up recipes.

I came across the recipe for sorbet and thought that it sounded posh and looked delicious and i loved the fact that it was easy to make. I have made this many times and editted the recipe by using various fruits as well as adding splashes of booze such as cointreau or grand marnier.

Try this out yourself and then try to tell me its not one of the easiest desserts EVER!!!

take a can or jar of fruit in syrup and blend in a food processor or simply chop into tiny tiny pieces. I have used pineapple, peach, apricot, pears, lychees and even a can of mixed fruit. Pour the processed/chopped fruit and its syrup into a freezable container and freeze over night.

when ready to be served, take the sorbet out of the freezer and spoon into serving dishes – i like to use martini glasses as it looks nice. Stick a spoon in the sorbet, dress with sliced lemon or orange and then splash with a little boozy cointreau or grandmarnier for the adults and simply serve without booze to the kids.

serve up to your guests and watch their faces as they enjoy and amaze themselves at your ability to make something so fantastic!